Seasons of Joy: January – Week 3

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

In my Heart


My mum is one of the most special, incredible people I have the honour to know.  She and I are so close.  Growing up it was hard to tell where she ended and I began.  She worked 20 hours plus each day to keep my brother and I at private school and put food on the table, all the while remaining friends with a man who was not at all easy to love at times.  Alcoholism destroys much and as soon as my A levels were over she left my Dad and she and I moved into a little cottage together.  I was due to be starting uni in London and had a place in halls to live away from home.  I couldn’t bring myself to leave mum so I lived with her until I married Gary.  She often refers to those years as the best years of her life.

When we moved back here from Ireland we moved in next to mum.  I know some would find it hard to live so close to their nearest and dearest, and whilst it has not ALL been plain sailing, it has been pretty close.

Each Saturday morning mum and I do our weekly shop together.  Just prior to shopping we spend an hour or so catching up in a coffee shop nearby.  Chatting over a latte and toast, we share what has been happening in our life throughout the week.  It is a special time which neither of us forgo without a very good reason.

During our shopping trip mum seeks to ferret out lovely eatables for the children for that evening.  Saturday evenings are spent together with Granny watching The Darling Bud’s of May together.  A wonderful way to build relations between generations.  My mum means so much to all of us and it is so worth putting in effort to ensure she knows it.

In my Home

This week I seem to have made great gain with absolutely no effort on my behalf!  The charity shop down the road is closing for refurbishment and has been selling everything for one pound.  I physically stopped myself from going, after all I am decluttering and going on a spending spree, albeit a thrifty one, was not going to do me any decluttering favours.  My girls were another story.  They came back with a selection of shirts, jumpers, jewelry and nik naks all bought for £1.  I was given a vintage painted wooden sign by C12, who after seeing my obvious enthusiasm for it, handed it to me to keep.  Isn’t it gorgeous?


My friend Lorna and her family have just come back from a holiday in America.  The whole family by nature is incredibly thoughtful and giving so came home laden with presents for us all.  I think Lorna must know me very well.  She bought me a gorgeous sign, a crocheted washing up scrub (I seriously LOVE this and absolutely won’t ever be using it!) and a cinnamon scented candle.  My cottage is full of cinnamon scented candles, which I burn every day.  I ADORE the smell of cinnamon, so was very pleased in deed to be given such a thoughtful present:

Ribbet collagejoy1

Thank you Lorna and family!

We are also continuing to make bits and pieces for the girls’ woodland themed bedroom.  They have a desk which is large enough for both girls to colour at the same time:


We had an old clock that Granny had given us a while back and we already owned some bark covered wooden colouring pencils, which we added to the desk with some colouring in books and sticker books:


Granny and Grandad from Ireland bought them a night-light which was in the shape of an owl:


The little girls love this so much!

In my sewing box

I am very close to finishing the patchwork made of the children’s old clothes and we are currently discussing where to hang it.

I have also been going through the younger girls’ clothes as they now do not own a wardrobe.  We are hoping to find one to squeeze at the bottom of the bunk bed but until then all their clothes are in baskets:


As I was going through them I found a couple of tops they had outgrown which handily had some owl pictures on them.  I am in the middle of turning them into an owl shaped toy for each of them to cuddle at night.  I have simply cut off the arms and hand sewn around the seam:


I then cut out some eye and beak shapes from the arms.  I still need to sew these on, after which I will add a button in the middle of each eye:


I may fill them with wheat which can be safely heated for them to use as a type of hot water bottle.

In my kitchen

Son and I have been busy experimenting with home-made muesli.  We use freshly rolled oats that we roll ourselves.  These taste so different from the ones you can buy in the shop.  They are moist with a milkiness to them:


We added dried black currents, red currents, cranberries, raisins, apricots, all sorts of seeds and mixed it all up.  Just before serving we sliced a banana and some red and green grapes, added some milk and enjoyed the gastronomic pleasures of something we had made completely from scratch which was full of goodness:

Ribbet collagejoy2

It was scrummy yummy and so healthy!

It has been a good week, full to the brim with joyful times spent together forging strong relationships, creating simple home-made delights and filling ourselves with oaty goodness!


  1. It is such a delight to read your blog first thing in the morning whilst the house us still quiet. I love your relationship with your mum. I have a dear relationship with mine as well and my girls are soooo blessed by it. God bless you and yours. Enjoy your Saturday!
    Sandy in NY

  2. Although I love this whole post, I have to say that the owl plushies are incredibly clever 🙂 They’re going to be such sweet and cuddly toys for the little kids.

    1. I hope so. I looked for some on Amazon and they were charging £14 and I figured I could give it a go and make them myself. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. I don’t know which part of this post I like the most! That photo of all you women is lovely, and so are the signs that your daughter and friend brought you. The owl pillows are fun! And the owl light I kind of want myself. 🙂

    1. The owl light is very cool. It constantly changes colours which the girls love. It would drive me nuts but fortunately I eat lots of carrots and can see very well in the dark!

  4. I love this post 🙂 I can tell you love your family a lot. You are also super talented! Where do you get your inspiration?

  5. That is so lovely and interesting what you have been doing. the photo of all you girls at the top is gorgeous, Again you are amazing what you have been doing. lots of love to you and your lovely family xxxxx

  6. These Seasons of Joy posts are just so lovely, Claire. It is nice to see what else is going on in your life. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with your mum. I know you know this, but, treasure each moment.

    I hope you are enjoying your weekend. Hello to all from all here in Texas.

  7. Ooh your muesli does look super-scrummy! I have porridge with heaps of fruit on at the moment, but I might branch out to home-made muesli when spring comes. I think I could eat oats for every meal! I love that picture of T.

    1. I gave up on porridge on account of me being seemingly unable to get my body out of bed to go and make it each morning! Muesli is pour and go which suits me much better. I’ll have to send you some fresh rolled oats. Honestly, you’ll never want to buy shop bought again!

  8. What a beautiful photo of you, the girls and your mum! What a gift to be so close to your mother and that you both take the time to connect every week.

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